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Last Update: 29 Minute ago
News code: 21305
Published Date: Sunday 22 December 2013 - 10:34:10
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Human Rights Watch Slams Arrest of Egypt Activist

Human Rights Watch Slams Arrest of Egypt Activist
World  -  Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the arrest of a senior Egyptian activist by the country’s security forces, describing it as a continuation of a crackdown on opposition.

On December 19, police raided the offices of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and detained six of its members who were blindfolded and held in an unidentified place for nine hours. Five of them were later freed, press tv reported.

However, Mohamed Adel, who is a founding member of the April 6 movement that was among the groups behind the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak, remains in custody.

Adel's arrest comes as the police, who are part of and take instructions from the Ministry of Interior in the North African country, in the past three weeks have also gone after three other top activists; Alaa Abdelfattah, Ahmed Maher and Ahmad Douma.

"The Ministry of Interior's pursuit of these four activists is a deliberate effort to target the voices who, since January 2011, have consistently demanded justice and security agency reform," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at HRW.

"The Egyptian government has sent a strong signal with its attack on a human rights group, and these arrests and prosecutions, that it is not in the mood for dissent of any kind," Whitson added.

She also noted that nearly three years after the revolution in Egypt, security agencies "feel more empowered than ever and are still intent on crushing the right of Egyptians to protest the actions of their government".

Adel, Maher and Douma are being tried on charges linked to a protest in front of a court in the capital Cairo on November 30. A verdict is slated to be given on December 22.

Prosecutors have also recently referred Abdelfattah, who is an outspoken critic of Egyptian police and army, to trial on charges of organizing a protest without notification.

HRW said that the police employ "the deeply repressive" law to arrest political activists on the grounds that they failed to seek advance permission for their protests.

According to the new protest law, approved on November 24, gatherings of more than 10 people require a written permit three days prior to the protest and security forces are allowed to resort to force and can even fire live ammunition against unauthorized protests.

Rights group Amnesty International has denounced the new law, saying it "gives security forces free rein".

 

Tags:: egypt
News Code: 21305
Published Date: Sunday 22 December 2013 - 10:34:10
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